Zelenskyy expected to visit Capitol Hill next week as Congress debating funding
Sep 14, 2023, 5:30 PM
(Brendan Smialowski/Pool via AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected at the White House and on Capitol Hill next week as he visits the U.S. during the United Nations General Assembly.
Zelenskyy’s trip comes as Congress is debating President Joe Biden’s request to provide as much as $21 billion in military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine as it fights the Russian invasion.
An administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive visit, said Zelenskyy will meet with Biden at the White House next Thursday. The trip to the Capitol was confirmed by two congressional aides granted anonymity to discuss the plans.
The Ukrainian president made a wartime visit to Washington in December 2022 and delivered an impassioned address to a joint meeting of Congress. At the time it was his first known trip outside his country since Russia invaded in February of that year.
In his speech to cheering lawmakers, Zelenskyy thanked Americans for helping to fund the war effort and said that the money is “not charity,” but an “investment” in global security and democracy.
Details of Zelenskyy’s visit next week were not yet being made public.
The White House National Security Council declined to comment on Zelenskyy’s plans, including whether he would meet with Biden at the White House.
Congress is increasingly divided over providing additional funding for Ukraine as the war is well into its second year. Biden has sought a package of $13 billion in additional military aid for Ukraine and $8 billion for humanitarian support.
But conservative Republican lawmakers have been pushing for broad federal spending cuts and some of those allied with Donald Trump, the former president, are specifically looking to stop money to Ukraine.
Congress is working to pass its annual appropriations bills before a Sept. 30 deadline to keep the U.S. government running.
Associated Press writer Seung Min Kim contributed to this report.